Weddings are wondrous occasions, devoted to love and promises and celebrated with friends, food and festivities. Your wedding can also be *the* major fashion event of your life, depending on how often you and your dress are front and center of an event. Of course we all want a gown that’s flattering and suits our personal style. There are many silhouettes to try — from A-line to sheath to mermaid to ball gown. But if a long, heavy gown is just not you — if it would make you feel like you are wearing a costume instead of your own clothing — a non-traditional dress is probably what you are looking for. From tea-length hemlines to colors other than white, these 20 non-traditional gowns will provide some inspiration.

If tea-length still feels too formal for you, a short dress might be just right. Short dresses look modern and retro at the same time, hearkening back to 1960s hemlines. Here are 11 dresses that are short in length but long in style. But if it’s not the length of the dress so much as it is simplicity you are seeking, you may be happy with a minimalist dress, long or short. The opposite of the lavish ball gown, the minimalist dress is devoid of ornamentation. It’s elegant without being fussy. Most minimalist gowns sweep the natural lines of the body, without trying to control your shape. Here are 16 minimalist dresses we love.

And, finally, if white just isn’t your color, you may be looking for a formal dress in a flattering color that could work for a wedding. You might have to go outside the retail wedding dress circuit and do a whole lot of window shopping to find such a dress. Good thing we’ve done the curating for you. Here are 50 colorful dresses that would work for a wedding.

Over at Central Coast Wedding Standard, Rebecca describes how she and her groom Donald threw a colorful vintage wedding on a budget that was anything but ordinary — with help from her three DIY-crafty sisters.

Do you have a non-traditional dress to share? Tag us on Instagram @britandco.

(Photo via Chloe Murdoch / Central Coast Wedding Standard)